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Here's Why I Think Atlantic American (NASDAQ:AAME) Is An Interesting Stock

Like a puppy chasing its tail, some new investors often chase 'the next big thing', even if that means buying 'story stocks' without revenue, let alone profit. But as Warren Buffett has mused, 'If you've been playing poker for half an hour and you still don't know who the patsy is, you're the patsy.' When they buy such story stocks, investors are all too often the patsy.

In the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like Atlantic American (NASDAQ:AAME). Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital - but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.

See our latest analysis for Atlantic American

Atlantic American's Improving Profits

In a capitalist society capital chases profits, and that means share prices tend rise with earnings per share (EPS). So like a ray of sunshine through a gap in the clouds, improving EPS is considered a good sign. It is therefore awe-striking that Atlantic American's EPS went from US$0.058 to US$0.64 in just one year. When you see earnings grow that quickly, it often means good things ahead for the company.

One way to double-check a company's growth is to look at how its revenue, and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins are changing. I note that Atlantic American's revenue from operations was lower than its revenue in the last twelve months, so that could distort my analysis of its margins. The good news is that Atlantic American is growing revenues, and EBIT margins improved by 6.7 percentage points to 8.7%, over the last year. Ticking those two boxes is a good sign of growth, in my book.

The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.

earnings-and-revenue-history
earnings-and-revenue-history

Since Atlantic American is no giant, with a market capitalization of US$57m, so you should definitely check its cash and debt before getting too excited about its prospects.

Are Atlantic American Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

Personally, I like to see high insider ownership of a company, since it suggests that it will be managed in the interests of shareholders. So we're pleased to report that Atlantic American insiders own a meaningful share of the business. Indeed, with a collective holding of 72%, company insiders are in control and have plenty of capital behind the venture. To me this is a good sign because it suggests they will be incentivised to build value for shareholders over the long term. In terms of absolute value, insiders have US$41m invested in the business, using the current share price. That's nothing to sneeze at!

Does Atlantic American Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

Atlantic American's earnings per share growth have been levitating higher, like a mountain goat scaling the Alps. That EPS growth certainly has my attention, and the large insider ownership only serves to further stoke my interest. The hope is, of course, that the strong growth marks a fundamental improvement in the business economics. So to my mind Atlantic American is worth putting on your watchlist; after all, shareholders do well when the market underestimates fast growing companies. Don't forget that there may still be risks. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Atlantic American that you should be aware of.

Although Atlantic American certainly looks good to me, I would like it more if insiders were buying up shares. If you like to see insider buying, too, then this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying, could be exactly what you're looking for.

Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.